Inspection of the Rack

Rickhem

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was at Turning Stone this past Saturday and watched some fantastic pool. I now have a few questions resulting from some things observed there. Just about every player walked over and inspected the rack prior to breaking. Most often they seemed to be looking at the front part of the rack, but often is was the entire rack. Quite often there was something they didn't like, and the opponent had to re-rack. One time I even watched the breaker rack their own balls after a couple re-racks.
So what exactly is the concern here? I get that every ball should be touching, but some breakers seemed to really look for a long time. How much of a space is bad? A millimeter? A few millimeters? And is it more important for the front few balls than the rear ones?
Educate me on this.
 

longhorns2

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
the balls don't necessarily have to be touching for it to be a good rack. some spaces, depending on how big, are good for the breaker if he knows what to do with them. other spaces are bad and "slug" the rack. when you see players rack their own and they fiddle with the ball at the top, they're not trying to get it absolutely frozen, they're trying to get a tiny gap and if some other balls are frozen, it make it highly probable that they'll make the wing ball
 

Danimal

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
While playing Luc Salvas on Saturday, Jennifer Barretta put on her glasses to inspect every rack he gave her.

At one point, she made the 9 ball on the break 3 times in a row (however, she also scratched on the last break).
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was at Turning Stone this past Saturday and watched some fantastic pool. I now have a few questions resulting from some things observed there. Just about every player walked over and inspected the rack prior to breaking. Most often they seemed to be looking at the front part of the rack, but often is was the entire rack. Quite often there was something they didn't like, and the opponent had to re-rack. One time I even watched the breaker rack their own balls after a couple re-racks.
So what exactly is the concern here? I get that every ball should be touching, but some breakers seemed to really look for a long time. How much of a space is bad? A millimeter? A few millimeters? And is it more important for the front few balls than the rear ones?
Educate me on this.
What you experienced is exactly why it's just simpler to allow the breaker to rack their own balls. Of course that can lead to problems as well, as then the other player checks the rack to ensure nothing is being altered. This is why template racks have become so popular - very easy to achieve a perfect rack every time with all balls touching, so it saves a lot of time eliminating all the rack inspections by both players.
 

donuteric

always a newbie
Silver Member
I played the event this past weekend and inspected every rack minus one. I was down 8-1 against D. Grabe and I pretty much already gave up at that point, so I just proceeded to breaking. In the 4 matches I played, I asked for rerack twice from the same opponent when the whole 1-ball wasn't touching the rest of the rack. On my second request, he asked me to rack for myself.

Racking was easier on day 1 and it got progressively harder as the tournament advanced further. I wish Zuglan would give in, like many others, and just accept the use of templates. From my interactions with him, I doubt that day will ever come anytime soon.

I rarely ask for a rerack. I'm not nitpicky. The inspection is mostly done to find certain gaps that may favor breaking from one side over another.
 
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Rickhem

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
While playing Luc Salvas on Saturday, Jennifer Barretta put on her glasses to inspect every rack he gave her.

At one point, she made the 9 ball on the break 3 times in a row (however, she also scratched on the last break).

We sat in the stands right beside this match, and while she checked every rack, I don't think he checked any. And man does he play fast. He eventually just let her rack, but after those three times sinking the 9, he went back to racking for her.

Her inspections are what has me asking what I asked. While most others gave the rack a look, she inspected it, like you said. For an 8-ball rack, When I do look, I look to see that the front three balls and the 8 are in contact, just to get the 8 moving. Apparently there is way more to this than I am aware of.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
5BF8473E-738B-4AAB-95BD-0B4C1EAD48F6.jpeg

Learn how to read.....from a Rhode player
 

j2pac

Marital Slow Learner.
Gold Member
Silver Member
I was at Turning Stone this past Saturday and watched some fantastic pool. I now have a few questions resulting from some things observed there. Just about every player walked over and inspected the rack prior to breaking. Most often they seemed to be looking at the front part of the rack, but often is was the entire rack. Quite often there was something they didn't like, and the opponent had to re-rack. One time I even watched the breaker rack their own balls after a couple re-racks.
So what exactly is the concern here? I get that every ball should be touching, but some breakers seemed to really look for a long time. How much of a space is bad? A millimeter? A few millimeters? And is it more important for the front few balls than the rear ones?
Educate me on this.

Rack your own. Ref inspects rack if necessary. You'll get to break once you've properly racked the balls. Problem solved. :cool:
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
There is a reason so many are recommending Joe Tucker's information

Joe has spent many an hour learning about racks and he gives a lot of information every player should have. He also has one of the straightest strokes in pool plus seemed like a good guy when I had a problem with a little piece of plastic and large hands.

One player understanding the rack and the other not understanding the rack is a major spot, one that may not be possible to outrun with winner breaks and rack your own.

Hu
 

gxman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I like having a neutral racker and no reracks.

Clearly that's hardly ever feasible in a tournament setting.
 
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